Jan 16, 2024
5 mins read
With companies increasingly transitioning to hybrid work settings, managers are realizing that a successful hybrid-first environment requires more than just determining who’s in the office and when. Without guidance and direction, transitioning to a hybrid work setting can often feel disjointed, and employees can feel disconnected from their colleagues and managers.
A hybrid work policy can help guide employees to understand expectations for their flexible work arrangement and is crucial to ensure that both the company and employees understand the expectations, guidelines, and procedures. While the specific components of a hybrid work policy will vary based on a company’s industry, culture, and specific needs, here are 5 key elements to consider.
In a recent fireside chat with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, he defined hybrid work as “implying flexibility for location and schedule, for people to work sometimes in the office and sometimes remotely, or work from home or a third space.” Because there are many different ways a work schedule can be created, the hybrid work policy must address what it looks like, and how it might vary for different teams. Additionally, the policy should clarify what constitutes an actual work day (Do employees need to be available and online during a specific time when they’re not in the office?) so that everyone is clear and on the same page.
While some companies are keeping their physical offices, many businesses are transitioning to hubs or flexible workspaces as their “physical office.” With that in mind, the hybrid work policy should outline where employees are allowed to work. What does “coming into the office” actually mean for hybrid employees? And, for some companies, it might mean more that employees need to come together in a single location (like a coworking space meeting room, for example) two to three days away, arranged by themselves, versus being at a physical office for an entire work day.
Transitioning to a hybrid work setting may require a different technological setup for employees. Will they need to work on company equipment on their “out of office” days? Does the technology overall need to be more accommodating of teams who may be working from home or a flexible workspace and need to be able to connect with teams who are in the office? Some companies have moved to laptops and mobile devices to make the ease of coming into the office and working from home a lot easier, however, companies need to consider security issues that might arise. And depending on the line of work, WIFI connection needs to be considered too.
While some companies consider formal communication methods in their policies, it’s important for companies to also address informal communication within a hybrid work policy. Also, companies should outline what specific apps or technologies they’ll be using for various types of communication. Are employees required to keep their cameras on during meetings? That might seem like a small consideration, but it can definitely affect the company’s work culture and connection.
The methods in which providing feedback and evaluating an employee’s performance will be conducted should also be outlined in a hybrid work policy. Dr. Gleb Tsipursky recommends moving away from a yearly evaluation and using a more short-term approach that involves creating three to five goals that are established with the manager and the employee. Once both parties are clear on how the performance will be measured, managers and team members should have frequent check-ins to ensure that progress toward the goals is being made. This approach ensures that employees and managers stay connected and that employee expectations are clear.